Game Preview: Penn State vs. Wagner

Audio/Story posted November 7, 2019 in

Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Connor Griffin and Kevin McConlogue recap Penn State's season opener against Maryland Eastern Shore and make their predictions for the team's weekend tilt against Wagner:

The Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0) will look to continue its impressive play against the Wagner Seahawks (0-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center. After an impressive win against Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday, Penn State must resume its high play before traveling to face Georgetown next week. 

New Pieces

At the 11th hour, the NCAA granted Curtis Jones a waiver to play immediately for head coach Pat Chambers. Jones, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, came off the bench last game scoring 10 points with two 3-pointers in his 25 minutes of play. 

The combination of Jones coming off the bench with freshman Seth Lundy and transfer Trent Buttrick created some chemistry issues on the court. The offense was stagnant early in the game and it will be important for Penn State to improve its attack off the bench. 

Veteran Leadership

With the exception of Lamar Stevens returning for his senior season, the most exciting part of the team is Mike Watkins. Watkins’ improved play will be essential for Penn State’s success this season.  His timing has improved and he committed zero turnovers and fouls in the first game. 

Stevens continues to impress basketball fans after a ferocious dunk in Tuesday’s game. He struggled early to shoot well but became more comfortable throughout the game shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. 

Wagner

No. 12 Seton Hall blew out the Seahawks on Tuesday night 105-71. The Seahawks, however, will present more of a challenge for the Nittany Lions than Maryland Eastern Shore. The team is led by Alex Morales and Will Martinez, who both shoot the ball exceptionally well. Additionally, Chase Freeman is a veteran forward who will bring a strong inside presence. 

What to Watch for

Penn State’s bench play will need to improve on Saturday, which it should as the new players grow more accustomed to playing with each other.  It’s important for the bench to be an integral part of the team before entering conference play.

The aspect that intrigues many people is Penn State’s ability to shoot behind the arc. The biggest issue for the Nittany Lions last season was their spacing and improved shooting will help that. 

Despite being in foul trouble, Myles Dread excelled on Tuesday, shooting 5-7 from the 3-point line.  It’s imperative, however, that Stevens, Jamari Wheeler and Myreon Jones continue to shoot well as it will open more scoring opportunities for the offense.   

Prediction: Penn State 80, Wagner59

 

 

Matthew White is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism with a double major in business and Spanish. To contact him, email mmw42@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Kevin McConlogue

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Kevin is a Senior from Scranton, PA. He is a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. During his time with CommRadio he has written articles and been a part of podcasts for many of Penn State’s sports teams. He has also been a beat writer and done Play by Play. In the future he hopes to do play by play for national television or radio or have his own sports talk show. To contact him email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Matthew White's photo

Matthew White

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism, Business, Spanish

Matthew White is a freshman from Los Gatos, California.  White is majoring in broadcast journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Business.  He currently produces weekly content for Comm Radio by broadcasting live sporting events, producing podcasts, cutting sound bites, producing intros and bumps for live sporting events, writing articles and beat writing for Penn State teams.  White excels with his passion, public speaking skills and unique work ethic.  To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Jeremy Ganes

Sophomore / Journalism

Jeremy Ganes is an aspiring sports broadcaster and journalist at Penn State. He writes articles, produces broadcasts, and announces games for the CommRadio Sports department. He also co-hosts an NFL-focused talk show called 4th & Long that airs live on CommRadio, alongside Francesco deFalco and DJ Bauer. In addition to Commradio content, Jeremy also assists in production and serves as an on-air personality to PSNtv show Penn State Sports Night, where he covers sports such as baseball and football. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Connor Griffin

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Connor is a sophomore from Horsham, Pennsylvania. This is his first year working with CommRadio, and his focus is primarily in sports. Last year, he worked for Penn State Athletics Strategic Communications as an assistant to all of Penn State’s sports information directors. This past summer, he shadowed Williamsport WRAK 1400’s play-by-play coverage of the Little League World Series, and he interned with the sports department of the NBC affiliate news station in Charleston, South Carolina. You can contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).